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EXPLORING TONGCHUAN LU WITH CHINA’S NEXT TOP MODELS

Liu wears necklace and bracelets Hakutaku; Jai wears dress Pleats Please Issey Miyake, bracelets Hakutaku.

Liu wears necklace and bracelets Hakutaku; Jai wears dress Pleats Please Issey Miyake, bracelets Hakutaku.

We spent the day at Shanghai's famous 24-hour Tongchuan Lu seafood market, with two of the most in demand faces at Shanghai Fashion Week.

Standing out in the fashion industry is tricky, but for the flocks of models working across China's growing scene the competition is considerably tougher. i-D recently spent the day at Shanghai's famous 24-hour Tongchuan Lu seafood market with two of the most in demand faces at Shanghai Fashion Week, Liu Hao and Jia Yi. We asked them about their big breaks, their favourite brands and what their future holds.

Liu wears own jeans, shoes adidas, bracelets Hakutaku.

Liu wears own jeans, shoes adidas, bracelets Hakutaku.

Liu Hao has fast become one of the most in demand male models on the Asian and European runway circuit. Last season he walked in Antwerp, Milan, Paris and London for labels including Damir Doma, Kenzo, Rick Owens and, his personal favourite, Walter Van Beirendonck. We got to know the 23-year-old who possesses an unbridled enthusiasm for his work and the fashion industry at-large.

Where are you from?
Dongguan province

Where do you live?
Shanghai

How were you discovered?
I got my break in a GQ Magazine modelling competition in Beijing.

Most exciting show to walk in last season?
Walter Van Beirendonck, I love the clothes. It was the most artful show I've ever been a part of.

Favourite Designer?
J.W. Anderson.

The modelling job you dream of?
Anything to do with the house of Lanvin, and if we're talking photographers I love Tim Walker.

I hear you're studying fashion design.
Yes, although it's difficult at the moment because I'm so busy with modelling but I see this as a stepping stone into design. I'm learning a lot from many different sides of the industry right now.

Chinese Brand we should all be wearing?
ffiXXed Studios, I love walking in their shows.

Movie star crush?
100 percent Maggie Cheung.

What's playing in your headphones backstage?
Always pop music! Currently it's Katy Perry.

What does a perfect day in Shanghai look like?
Wandering aimlessly around the streets of the French Concession and stopping to pick up a fresh pork bun aka char siu bao.

@haohaohu

Jai wears dress Pleats Please Issey Miyake, jacket Espresso Research, necklace and bracelets Hakutaku

Jai wears dress Pleats Please Issey Miyake, jacket Espresso Research, necklace and bracelets Hakutaku

22-year-old Jia Yi was spotted in a Beijing mall just months after graduating from the London College of Fashion. Since been scouted Jia Yi has booked back to back shows at Shanghai Fashion Week and secured editorial shoots across the pages of China's major glossy publications. En route to Europe for her first international season, she says her Dad worries about her new profession, but is fast amassing a collection of clippings of her face from the pages of magazines.

Where are you from?
Zhengzhou province.

Where do you live?
Shanghai.

How were you discovered?
I was hanging out in a mall in Beijing and my current agent approached me. I had been considering trying to model, so it was a fortuitous meeting.

Favourite model?
Freja Beha Erichsen.

Favourite designer?
Alexander McQueen, always.

Best and worst parts of your debut fashion week?
The worst part is the stress, all of the fittings and castings are non-stop. But the best part is the excitement and adrenaline you feel when you walk for a designer. You forget the stressful moments when you're making a designer's creative vision come to life! 

What's a perfect day in Shanghai?
I would spend the afternoon at the movies and then hop between bakeries and hidden stores in the French Concession.

What's playing in your headphones backstage?
Always rock, Guns n Roses, Coldplay and Muse.

Do you have any pets?
A puppy named Tao Yuen-that's a Chinese sweet.

@jiayiljiayi

 Text and styling Courtney DeWitt Photography  Fan Wu    Read CD's full Shanghai Fashion Week coverage up on i-D.

Text and styling Courtney DeWitt
Photography Fan Wu

Read CD's full Shanghai Fashion Week coverage up on i-D.